Introducing New Doctoral Students

Hello! My name is Melissa Jay, and I grew up south of Boston in Sharon, MA. After studying math at Colorado College and working in Denver for a year, I’m excited to be back in Massachusetts. I first became interested in biostatistics after participating in the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics program in 2014. I learned how statistical methods could be applied to hearing research through a project where I predicted speech intelligibility indices for children with cochlear implants. After graduation, I spent my summer at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I worked with a team on a mathematical modeling project for a telecommunications company called Huawei.

Over the past year and a half, I explored medical applications of machine learning at a start-up company. We predicted the onset of sepsis and patient instability in the hospital. It was a rewarding opportunity to see our algorithms aiding patients and clinicians, and this experience further inspired me to pursue biostatistics in graduate school. At Harvard, I’m looking forward to learning more about clinical trial methods and missing data problems. In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, and listening to music.

Hi there! My name is Nathan Huey and I’m very much looking forward to making your acquaintance in the coming weeks! I grew up in the sunny suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio with my 6 brothers and sisters before packing up and moving to Gambier, Ohio for undergrad at Kenyon College, alma mater of the United States’ perhaps most illustrious president, Rutherford B. Hayes. Throughout my education, I had enjoyed the playground world of mathematics and made the decision to major in math quickly. Learning and doing research in both math and biology was for me a little like finding that two flavors of ice cream can in fact be twisted together and a strict choice between the two altogether avoided. Before finishing my degree in mathematics at Kenyon, I researched topics ranging from alternatives to LS-regression for the metabolic scaling of caterpillars to RNA expression profiles of frogs in response to two different ligands of the same hydrocarbon receptor. After my junior year, I worked on a project at Cold Spring Harbor Labs in New York to discover genes involved in certain psychiatric disorders using targeted genome sequencing.

Here at HSPH, I’d like my studies to focus especially on mathematical theory, personalized medicine and pharmacogenetics, and on applications with direct and clear potential to improve people’s health. In addition, I find statistical education and the general perception of statistics interesting as well as the discussion concerning the validity of using statistics as a tool for generating knowledge/useful insights. Other things I like include listening to and making music, yoga, running, languages, hiking, reading, and trying to figure out ways to explain what biostatistics is to people before they stop listening.